Poem: Psychosis – 02/08/20

I don’t remember precisely what it feels like because
when one is psychotic, a patient can be so utterly unwell.
But I will attempt, I will try to recall,
for the sake of this exercise 
I will do my best to delve and reveal all.
What I do know is the creative juices flow,
and thoughts become deluded in nature, 
and boy, do they grow –
I once thought I was a baby Jesus and 
fervently wove leaves into my hair,
the nurses laughed and I was pleased with this,
of my intent I was glad they were aware.
I thought I could be anything,
even a well-trained, amazing singer 
when I’d not even attended a 
formal singing lesson to begin with,
not before, not now, not ever.

After my morning coffees,
I treated the ward to my enthused, 
technical warm-ups without warning,
they went on and on into the afternoon,
so vocal was I at these -
I began to feel singing was my second calling.
I’d babble, I’d speak so fast I would often forget
what I’d said a moment prior,
I believed I could meld hearts and souls, 
and create magic through erratic movements
which seemed to explode from my limbs all on their own 
like fire.

In this state, I could not cope,
I could not exist within the reality of the world.
When ill, one often needs to be isolated 
for their own safety,
to stop society from misunderstanding them,
from misinterpreting me,
treating me as though there was something
inherently wrong with my nature
and not considering I may be experiencing 
temporary insanity as my common denominator.
Whether drug-induced or because of lack of medication,
the cause of one's psychosis shouldn’t cause any
fear, judgement, or wide-eyed apprehension,
yes, a psychotic person can be
aggressive and out of control
but these are the hallmarks of their disease,
it should not reflect upon who they truly are beneath it all.

These aforementioned symptoms can be experienced 
separate or altogether, singularly or as a whole,
but there's no obvious or fool-safe formulaic  
presentation for each symptomatic patient 
to be analysed,
truth be told.

And, sweeping suspicion and paranoia can also surface,
begin to bubble and brew,
fear and anxiety fester and grow
and extend from one’s being
until of their presence everybody knows.
How to fix someone like this, you wonder?
You do not need to ponder.
Overly high doses of medications can 
perform clever tricks,
or perhaps, if last resort, 
some ECT to create calm and cause those 
blank, white, amnesiac dreams.
It is a saddening state of affairs when one is
stuck in this elevated, overly-sensitised, 
agitated state,
but for me, for them, for us patients, 
there is nothing to it,
we lived, I breathed a perpetual defensive state of 
this is who and what I am, take it or leave it!
Was I overly broken?
No. Just existing in an oblivion 
without an obvious date for miraculous healing,
for this, it would take much time - 
careful medical intervention, 
and much thoughtful immediate care-planning.

© 2020 Lauren M. Hancock. All rights reserved.
Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

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    1. Thanks, Don. Yes, I made a committed decision to speak about this. Psychosis is something often misunderstood, and I felt writing about it would shed light on what can happen to someone experiencing it.


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